Wednesday, December 21, 2005
NO The DEMOCRATS, BLOCK ALASKA DRILLING PLAN...Would rather see us pay $5 a gallon than open up Domestic production. Thats how the Headline should read...
By Tom Doggett and Julie Vorman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The Senate on Wednesday rejected attempts to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which drilling supporters had sought to add as part of a $453 billion defense spending bill.
No Democrats blocked it with the Aid of two Republicans who should have all the commitie positions remaved as a result of their vote.
The ANWR refuge, which sprawls along Alaska's northern coast and may hold 10 billion barrels of oil, has been the focus of bitter wrangling in the U.S. Congress for more than two decades.
Most Senate Democrats and some moderate Republicans said the frigid wilderness and its assortment of wildlife, ranging from polar bears to peregrine falcons, should be protected. Republicans contended ANWR must be opened to drilling to stop a steady slide in U.S. crude oil production.
2 Wacko Republicans not "some moderate" the reporter also doesn't mention the 3 Democrats that voted for the drilling. I wonder why?
Republican Ted Stevens of Alaska attached the measure to a $453 billion defense spending bill that pays for U.S. troops and Pentagon weapons programs in the coming year. Furious Democrats conducted extended debate to delay its passage.
Yet they had no problem when McCain attached his cripple interrogation ammendment to the Bill
Although lawmakers were anxious to wrap up work for the year, the Republican majority failed to get the required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber needed to cut off debate on the bill. The vote was 56-44.
"Holding funding for our troops and relief for Hurricane Katrina victims hostage in this manner is just plain wrong and a violation of at least two Senate rules," said Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California.
It is HER party that is filibustering the Bill SHE is holding up funding on the troops.
Another Democrat, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, said the issue was not whether to support the defense funding for U.S. troops. "If we yield to this tactic on ANWR, next year it will be someone else's pet project attached to the defense spending bill," he said.
You mean like McCains torture Ammendment Senator?????
But Stevens, who has fought since the 1980s to pry open ANWR, indicated he would not give up easily.
"I want you to know we're going to be here until (New Years Day)... We're going to stay here until this is finished," Stevens said before the vote. "I can't go home for Christmas. I've already canceled (airplane tickets)."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages ANWR, describes it as "one of the finest examples of wilderness left on the planet." The refuge is the same size as South Carolina, with most of its land accessible only by plane or boat.
And the drilling would only take place in a two thousand acre area.
Oil companies say exploration and drilling could be limited to a small area and would not harm the wildlife.
"It is a 2,000-acre limitation," Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said, referring to the amount of land within the refuge that would be opened for drilling. "If we can do anything more to help decrease our reliance on oil imports, we need to do it."
It's a shame MS. Murkowski doesn't show the same good sense when it comes to the patriot act, which she voted against.
Another Republican, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, said oil production platforms already operate on Alaska's North Slope in an environmentally sensitive way.
"They look like little outhouses," he said. "You won't be able to even see or locate what has transpired (with drilling equipment)."
For a half-dozen Republicans who have long opposed ANWR drilling, the defense bill represented a difficult choice. Few politicians wanted to be seen rejecting a defense bill that pays the salaries of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Unless of course they are Democrats.
The defense bill also includes funding for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, the potential bird flu pandemic and a program that helps poor families pay winter heating bills.
The U.S. House approved the defense bill on Monday.
But to the Democrats all that means nothing compared to preventing drilling for that Demon liquid OIL...
© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.